tv Book Discussion on American Coup CSPAN January 19, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm EST
and i said who wrote this after i was done because the sentences were so long. so i made a pledge i would write with shorter sentences and speak with them. so i will achieve the former at least. i was looking at the book today and trying to think if there was something that represents what i want to say. and that means it has to be a couple paragraph and say what i want to say. here it is: today if you are a pilot, ham radio operator, doctor, vet, nurse, medic, emergency anything, ambulance driver, firefighters, sheriffs,
park rangers, expert aid worker, heavy equipment worker, trucker, biologist, undertaker, mechanic, information technology, linguist, dispatcher, security guard, technical climber, search for rescue effort, dog handler dog lovers or dog -- there is a place for you at homeland security. and on virtually every inch of the political spectrum we demand this.
we demand preparedness and security today. homeland security officials and military commanders forged these triggered relationships with states, cities, counties, tribes and local governments. everyone marching to the national security beat. utilities and telecommunication and hospitals are all in government public private partnerships and universities and non-profits and faith-based organizations and tens of millions of volunteers are signed up and vetted. sniffers are employed recording and saving and panning for gold.
an area press release knows an. a speech is made without the new lexicon. information sharing. unified command. unity of effort. whole of government. whole of community. whole of society. was anyone left who is just a civilian today? that pretty much says it all. when i think about the gulf that exist between washington and this new enlisted collaboration of homeland security intelligent, law enforce; military government and try to put some meaning to it i came up
with this idea of marshal life. we live under a state of marshal life. it isn't marshal law in the sense there is a uniform guardian who has taken over the government. it is collaboration of homeland security, intelligence, the government, emergency responders and it makes national security more than anything else the most important subject so that even like last week when we watched the shutdown of the federal government who was exempt? the intelligence community. the homeland security apparatus. the military. it transforms the private sector
into the a national security mess. that is to see if you run utility you have to comply with federal rules that have to do with things like keeping the utility strong and safe which are defined in very military and national security terms. so i talk today a friend of mine who lives in the state of vermont. he is a top-level planner. i said does anybody care about this? and he said actually in the state of vermont a lot of emergency planners are worried about the electrical grid. that is one area we are concerned. and i said so what are you doing to take it stronger? and it just totally halted him. because he said we're just preparing for the day it goes
down. we are doing nothing to make it stronger. nothing. and that is just a little microcosm of understanding what happens when everything is about national security. the weight moves over to a kind of preparedness for disaster for war as opposed to creating a more resilient, civil society. i call that reality. american coup. today i went online because i want to check when i say more national security and military people are doing better economically. let me give you numbers in this book you will buy.
[laughter] >> first, seven of the richest 15 counties in america are in the washington, d.c. metro area. and about 60% of all of the job openings in america are in washington, d.c. metro area today. 60%. that is by going to monster.com and a couple other job boards. and you will be glad to know that the most valuable commodity is having a top secret security clearance. it is like a commodity because that is what you sell yourself on the bases of. i am speaking at an aclu conference in vermont next week
and i thought i would look up how many jobs there are open in vermont looking for people are top secret clearances. and i am happy to report the top 7-10 open in vermont when you do a search of vermont and secret are secrets. we haven't been destroyed yet. i want to tell you something else. i get a knock on my door from a guy that said you don't know me, i wanted to come by for quite
some time. i have not read your book he says and lots of intro and i am thinking 9-11 truth committee. i am being nice, which is hard for me. and he said where was driving by your house and i saw two surveillance videos out in front. i know you do something in the security field and i don't want to be a conspiracy nut but it didn't strike me bill arkin lives there. he took a picture of these two surveillance vehicles. and later on in the day, he
said, i went down and they were parked on the woodstock green transmitting. and he said i had kind of lost the pictures on my phone and talked to chuck about it. and he said that is kind of interesting you should tell bill about it. and so i printed out the pictures and here they are. and i am going to buy your book. and you know, i really, whatever you are doing it is good. i didn't have the heart to tell that guy it was cameras and a satellite truck that came to interview me. but i found it interesting that is what he felt and where we
went. this kind of two qualities to that exchange that to me exlimpify the situation in american today. we are lucky enough to live in vermont and small town america. something that is disappearing everywhere else. and part of it is what is the value of the local community. you have to kind of make this argument, if you will, in social and political science terms, what is the value of the local community. because if we are not forging a kind of society, what is our mission internally? i think when the founding
fathers thought about the federation of states, they thought about the value of local community. and everything about it, all of the structure of the constitution and the government, is to give powers to the people and states and to take pow r -- powers away -- from the federal government. are restricts the government while giving rights and things that cannot be taken away to the states. when you live in a local community and park your keys in the car and you don't lock up -- i do leave the keys in my car and if you want to steal it
please do because i will get more from the insurance than if i had to sell it. but i expect people do look out for me. so this guy coming, even though he was wrong, made me feel there was added value to me living here. that is why i live here. and yet on had other hand what was the message he was conveying? you know that somehow he non-politically just accepted the notion that the federal government or some government could be there watching and listening. and that has infected us all. because here i am preparing for
my talk in montpelier and my talk here tonight, i am on the internet understanding why the government justifies this gigantic surveillance net that has been created in america. i want to urge you to forget physicality. if the government wants to watch me, get on the internet as that will show a lot more than if they sit outside my house where they will get board to death. but the physical world has increasingly disappeared and the information world is important. it is important to remember that.
so here i am working on my talk for next week and one of the things i wanted to bring it back to is to make sure people understand, especially aclu-types and people concerned with civil liberties, how is it all of this on grand scale edward snowden and syria and all of the s's, affects us in v vermont. so there is a federal organization that happens to be in vermont because it happens to be in vermont. it is in wiliston. it is 150 people who sit at computers and they process every police query nationwide of a potential illegal alien.
that is their job. it is part of i.c.e. which is part of homeland security. and inside that group is b.r. g b.r.a.g. bioterrorism something something group. and they process all the applications that have to do with people seeking jobs with type one or type two bio agents. people associated with cdc or high level public and private sector research. there is a law called the patriot act that says you cannot work in biological or chemical fields unless you are cleared
and if you are not cleared you are called a restricted person. so i started doing research because i wanted to know how many restricted people are there. that is a good question, right? i e-mailed the fbi private affairs office, e-mail people i know, went online and was looking and what i found was an interesting speech done by a high level pentagon official at a conference of fertilizer companies where he was urging the fertilizer companies to come together in the elimination of the sale of calcium ammonia
nitrate which is a fertilizer. i will call it c.a.n. it is responsible for 80% of the ied's explodes in afghanistan. so the government says let's eliminate the use of this and the export and trade it in. and we are going to solve the problem. like they are not going to go and make bombs out of something else. so i thought okay. big databases. peoples. problems in afghanistan. it is all coming back to vermont. who sells calcouium ammonia
nitrate in vermont. i am on the internet looking. and i am thinking someone knows what i am doing research on now. because part of their protocol is if someone is spending 20 minutes online looking for 50 pounds or more of calcium amm i ammonia nitrate they must be sus suspicio suspicious. and there is one company in milton that sells it. it is a seed company. and the top hundred hits on google if you type in calcium m ammonia nitrate purpose are w . www.alibaba.c www.alibaba.com. i am not kidding. okay? because it is sold in the middle east. and china. you can go to amazon and buy it
from a chinese company. only $6.95 for 50 pounds to be shipped to the united states. okay. get it? it is just tiny little part of the world. okay. how many restricted people are there? 296 of 45,000 people who have play applied for the jobs, 296 since 9-11 have been found to be restricted. 296. and of those 296 people, 200 were disqualified because they had felony convictions of one your or more. and 20% were disqualified for using an illegal substance.
okay? no one was disqualified because they were associated with a terrorism organization or a foreign government. no one. no one. so then i am thinking okay. this is 45,000. the center in williston said they process 1.1 million queries a year. and the fbi tells me they have 75 million finger prints now in their databases. and the biometrics task force in west virginia tells me they have 25 million biometric identities
that have been collected since 9-11. it is the territory that is our freedom that is getting smaller and smaller. i am not concerned about evil people doing something. i am not concerned about con spiracy or chaney's running amuck. this is the obama administration six years in. this is our government and they are making it smaller and smaller; the territory of freedom is getting smaller. there are 25 million americans who have biometrically enabled
credentials. transportation workers, government workers, government workers, contractors, first responders, police forces, etc. when you take those 25 million and you add their families. and then you add those volunteers, dogs included. the number reaches 60 million. that is 60 million people who are engaged in national and homeland security. that is 1/6th of the population of the united states. so if you happen not to be in that group then you are one of the needles in the haystack.
whether you are going to be scrutinized by the license plate reader or some police person just doing their job. that is the world we live in. you don't have to make it up or imagine a conspiracy because that is the nation we have created in the decade since 9-11. when i wrote "top secret america" we tried to quantify what happened to america since 9-11. when i wrote "american coup" i tried to understand not the what, but the why. why did nothing change after obama became president in the national security realm. why did the drone program exc
excellerate? how can the government say it will be the executioner and the court of american citizens as it has done on numerous occasions now in killing american citizens abroad who were identified as terrorist. not even terrorist. just terrorism gurus sometimes. we are talking about someone who could have been indicted and captured. and if not so what. but more importantly they are americans. we have been hearing a lot about
the nsa and surveillance because of edward snowden. the international community is up in arms about the american domination of the internet. everything that is done is done online now. it is all about collecting information, processing that information, moving that information, analyzing that information and making use of the information. that is the whole reason why we spend half a trillion a year now in national security. to go after, well i don't know how many people we are trying to go after, but let's take the national watch list of known and suspected terrorist. that would be a good place to start, all right? there is another database. it is maintains in mcclain,
virginia. it is the database of suspected terr terrorist and there are 132,000 people on that list. it is hard to find 132,000 people who don't want to be found. we will kill them one at a time and think it will not replenish itself? that is where we live right now. and part of that, part that i find fascinating and interesting in terms of understanding the i gigantic effort of this is how much those involved don't understand it. they don't understand the
totality because the guy working on bio restricted persons in that small program has no idea what the bigger things are and no sense of how it is encroached upon our tear to -- territory of freedom -- and edward snowden has provoked this outcry. i have a prediction. i don't think nothing will happen. but i think what will happen will be known in the future as the information prohibition. so there was prohibition on a national level in 1919. it lasted until the mid-30s. and then it went away.
we are watching something going on and i believe it will result in prohibition not real change. but i think it is real. i think what we are watching is real. and as we go through that, it is important to remember that though i don't believe in conspiracy theories and i don't believe in bad actors, but i believe the people who are conducting these programs believe they are the most effective ways to find those 296 people or 132, 000 people or whatever list they are looking for and they will do it as well as they can do it given as much money as we will give them.
it has become so deliciously self per pechating. and no one is the enemy so everyone is the enemy. we have to keep a constant eye not on people because of their politics or their religion. not on people because of their ethnic background. but we have to keep an eye on people, insiders and outsiders, right? because insiders are just as
dangerous. not having a security clearance even makes you not an i kept on you as edward snowden will fantastically reveal. those 1.4 million americans with top secret clearances like edward snowden are going to be the most surveyed people in america because every key stroke on a computer and log on and every place they are is going to be now more and more secure. that builds the infrastructure of what looks at the rest of us. there might be people who insist on drinking unpasteurized milk.
there might be people here who utalize illegal substances. this is another one. the patriot act lays out what disequalifies you. mental defective -- i don't know if they use that word. but they have it in the law. of the 45,000 people only six were found to be mentally defective. but i am thinking what is the database of them? because i must be on that one. right? what is the database of them? and that set me off to figure out what the government's definition of mental defective is. and there is a database of
people who have been institutionalized and some states refuse to share information with the federal government. but at the center in atlanta that tracks mental defective for security clearance purposes, the bio terror b.r.a.g program wants to have access to the data. "american coup" is what i call it. and i hope you buy the book. and now we are going to ask you if you have a question to utilize the microphone because c-span is here. thank you. [ applause ]
>> go ahead, first mental defective. >> i can speak from here. all of the millions and billions of names on the databases, what claims made by the government of actual interceptions of terrorist-activities? or something like that. >> i think the argument the government used post-edward snowden that somehow the collection of information was justified because we caught x-number terrorist was a stupid argument. let's talk about why they make stupid arguments. part of the problem is they don't want to say what they are doing. if the news media and the
america says the nsa is surveying everyone, for the government to say no we are not, is a little lame. they are not surveying everybody. they are collecting all of the information. they don't know what to do with that information yet. they pull it through all sorts of different kinds of algorithms to data mine it and do think link and social network analysis and they have b.r.a.g and there are 32,000 suspected terrorist and there are people that come from special countries. when they are done with that,
they hardly have time to look at the rest of what they collected. so they built a $2.5 billion facility in utah. they don't know how much or how long they will be able to store. every day 3 million text messages are sent around the world. our kids are responsible for a huge number. can you get a sense of the quantity we are talking about? no wonder they have to feel like they are collecting everything.
there is an enemy list. there is many. i showed you vin diagrams that overlap of all programs of vetting and credentialing and clearing but there is no one list of a political nature anymore. so when the government says we have achieved x-goal through this program they are trying their best. they can not explain what they are doing because to explain what they are doing: we are collecting everything on everyone. we are not clicking it just intercepting it and not intercepting it because there is no truck in front of bill arkin's house. we go into the cable and take everything and we don't need to
be physical it is all virtual and we don't need to listen in on conversations in the middle east in the middle east anymore. in fact the largest center of looking and listening in on conversation in the middle east is in agugusta, georgia. the largest one looking at spanish is in santa. the largest looking into the pacific and asia is in hawaii now. we are busy collecting now. >> why didn't you mention bush and chaney and only the obama
administration? >> i did talk about bush and cheney. but whether one is programmed to believe bush and cheney are responsible for what has been created. after 12 years i have to say we are responsible. you know. it comes down to us. maybe in the first year or second year or even third year you can say emergency government has taken too much power and control. but we have an election. we have two elections. we have three elections now.
i have to say it is kind of in our lap now. there is reasons why obama hasn't been able to change things. but more important, especially when you look at the drone program or the killing of bin laden or other things the president has done, positive and negative, they are things that obama as president and constitutional lawyer has agreed to and said i want done. i would say to you, however, i like to believe that i have a view of the world that is not just doom and gloom. maybe i will write that book someday. and actually in the last 3-4 months a couple things happened that made me feel like wow. maybe something is changing.
one of them is edward snowden. and sort of what is happening in reaction to it. another one is the fact we didn't bomb syria which i think on balance is essentially an act of mature on obama's front. i think everything was working like clockwork until the president who has bombed a lot of places said and then what? and we was uncomfortable with the answers why got about the answers from the and then what and said go back to the drawing board and then the russians got involved and the bombs was averted. and then another thing happened
this week that i find interesting and that is the department of homeland security has a new secretary. you probably couldn't tell me who the old secretary was. but the old secretary was the governor of arizona and an idiot and buffoon. and the new secretary is a really interesting civil libertarian who used to be on the board of human rights watch. they manage themselves. what you need is a leader. and i am saying it represents to me something that says maybe the second term obama is getting smarter. maybe! maybe. i don't know. if i could see the future i would not be here. but i see signs that indicate
change and they are good. maybe you have a question >> i have a couple comments and then a question. i am not sure how we can be responsible when an a lot of the times we don't know because of the massive secrets that are going on. and i find it a little disconcerting that when we find out about the surveillance an awful lot of people don't seem to mind. if it stops another boston, well it didn't stop boston so how do you fix it? they have all of the money. how do you back it down? >> great questions/comments.
this is my life's work. is there too much secrecy? yes. of course there is. but there is too much at hanover high school even. i want to make that point because it is emdemic to inst instituti institutions and these are as much about preserving their freedoms as they are about keeping secrets. there are some things edward snowden has revealed as an expert i have learned from. most experts you hear on the radio and they say we know all
of this stuff and there is some interesting things coming out. i want to under the capabilities associa associated with those. i don't care if we are listening on the e-mails or phone calls of the german president per se because i hope we are listening to the north korean president. so the came capability arise in doing those things. if edward snowden revealed we were listening in on the communication of north korea we would say they are doing something useful with the money. but he didn't. so secrecy is a bit of game. i have spent my entire life in this world.
i have worked for the government and worked in the intelligence community. consulted for the government. i have revealed secrets several teams and when my neighbor told me there were two black cars in the driveway i knew there was a reason. i guess it is the demystifying of the reason for the secrecy that is itself the best defense and offense against secrecy which is to say if you don't believe the secrets are about anything they have to prove why something should be secret.
not there is a presumption there is a secret. we are on the first step to being more educated consumers if you will will. i don't want to stand here and say i limit government secrecy. i can find out anything and i am not an nsa specialist. so things came out from edward snowden and i learned. but in the fields i am a specialist i can find out anything. i am not afraid of the government. and that is part of being an american. so i have to put the responsibility back on may own shoale shoulders and say i will change
things. because i cannot expect them to wake up and say we want to change especially not now that a large number of people in the private fields are creating profits and they will never say don't give us another contract we have safe enough. >> i think you are dancing around. the problem isn't the government power. the problem is we have lost the presumption of innocence and now we are suspects. >> i am not dancing around it. i wrote a book about that. in the intelligence world they call it a predicate. i think that is a legal term as well. you have to have a predicate to investigate someone. that is the rule within the fbi.
after 9-11 they did away with that. first with the patriot act and then with rules we as a country accepted. there was a point in the history where i was in an uncomfortable position personally because i was arguing that i think it is important that we identify who in america we identify who is the enemy. and that got me thinking i will
put people in the middle east in a higher category than people from italy. and i started examining my own conscious and thinking to understand what was i saying to myself. american citizens from the middle east should be presumed to be a greater danger to society. and then major hassan killed 30 people at fort hood, texas. and the army chief of staff went up to growing the next day and said how can this happen? and he said well we don't look at anybody on the bases of religion or race.
that is not american. and yet at that time, in november of 2008, if you were gay, you don't be in the military. but if you were a muslim terrorist you could be. and i thought there was something wrong with that. we were so willing to rook at gay people's lifestyles and backgrounds and personal lieven lives. so that is the situation. the way the constitution and county is structured and we need to preserve it. and that is what i fund found to be my own answer: our freedom of religion, our freedom oof
speech and our association are our unalienable rights. it is true what the army chief of staff said: the constitution isn't a good document to create security in the age of terrorism. but it is good document to keep everyone equal. i like the fact i live in a country we don't look at muslims because they are muslim. i dislike i live in a country where we look at muslims anyhow and do it in secret. i am less wordy about the presumption of guilt. there are secret programs in the
intelligence community that looks specifically at muslim-americans. and they are just secret. so we can say we abide by the constitution. but we do it anyhow. that is the part that matters to me in the book. >> thank you very much. >> you are expected to buy books now. and then you will bring them up here and i am going to sign them for you. if you want to use an alias i am going with that. thank you for coming out. [ applause ] >> thank you.
>> booktv is on facebook. like us to interact with guest and viewers and watch videos and get up to date information on events. facebook.com/booktv. >> the purpose of the book is to not only talk about how to revive the constitution and restore the republic, but to inform people on what the republic is supposed to look like, how the constitution is supposed to function and to move some of the decision making away from the centralized government back to the state legislators as the framers intended. >> you write about the 17th amendment that serves not the people, but the masterminds. they championed democracy and
knew it will be important to unravel constitutionalism. >> the freshmamers didn't fram democra democracy. the constitution is complex. you have a central government with limited powers. three branches. each of which is supposed to be working with each other. sometimes checking each other. and of course you have the state where all of the power is supposed to exist and with the virginia sovereignty exist -- individual -- so the idea direct elections is what the framers n intended isn't correct. the senate was debated on what it was supposed to look like. madison and others made it clear
you could have the direct election of senators without creating a centralized government. they wanted a federal republican. they made this case to the states when it went to the states for the ratification of the constitution. they said the senate is made up of individuals chosen by the state legislators. so the federalist used the senate and the natucture to per persway them. who do the senators represents? there are two from every state. we get that. but the direct election of
senators. you have senators voting for obamacare in states where the governor and attorney general fault obamacare in court. it is very bazaar. the senate today really is an odd construct. the purpose was to empower people not to have another ability to vote. >> for this month's booktv book club join readers to discuss the "liberty amendments"